Yesterday at the Ulm German Athletics Championships, Markus Rehm set a world record in the F44 long jump, with a jump of 8.24 meters on his fourth attempt. He was the first amputee athlete to compete at the championships.
His jump also secured him a first place finish, and qualified him for the European athletics championships which take place in Zurich, Switzerland from August 12 to 18. Former European champion Christian Reif finished second with a jump of 8.2 meters. Following the race, the twenty-five year old jumper was quoted by n-tv.de the as saying, “I still have heart palpitations. There are simply jumps you meet perfectly – and so it was today.” On Facebook, he said, “I AM SPEECHLESS … and can not believe it, 8.24 m and thus German Champion! Perfect conditions and an excellent audience … now I have to come down again! made short finish and there you go to Mainz to the Current.”
Not everyone is happy with the result. Rehm runs and jumps with a specially designed blade that is 15 inches longer than his other leg. Reif accused Rehm of basically cheating as a result. There are allegations that it gives him an unfair competitive advantage when jumping. German Athletics Federation head coach Idriss Gonschinska is quoted by n-tv.de as saying in response to this allegation, “It takes complex analysis in order to answer this question.”
Rehm competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where he also set a world record in the long jump with a 7.35 meter jump for 1,093 points. He competes for TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen.